Just as I was reaching the end of my radio show this morning, the Emergency Alert System (EAS) suddenly activated. I hadn’t triggered our equipment; this was an external alert coming in, taking over the air signal. My stomach immediately clenched and I swore softly, firing up the browser on the in-studio computer to hit CNN. Wondering, desperately and dreadfully, what had happened now.
It was a test of the system, of course. But here’s the thing: there was no leading announcement. They hit the tones, and then told us it was a test. Maybe that’s the way the system ought to be tested. It felt every bit as real and scary as I expect it should. An hour later, I was still wound kind of tight.